In an earlier post I referred to terroir, the sense of place or the individual personality of fine tea. This month we will offer as a part of the VSRT (Very Special Rare Tea) collection, a tea that epitomizes that individuality. Rilagala – a Sinhala name which means ‘Monkey Rock’ – gained its name from the colossal rock which towers over the estate, and the monkeys from the surrounding forest, who are often seen amongst the tea bushes. First established in 1907, Rilagala Estate is home to an assortment of wildlife from wild boar to deer and occasionally leopard, attracted by its biodiversity.
This OP1 from Rilagala is produced from a small batch of selectively handpicked leaf. The beautifully even, black and wiry leaf yields a rich, coppery infusion. The liquor is deliciously gentle, with fruity, slightly juicy notes balanced with the greenish touch of seasonal flavour. A malty finish completes the complex seasonal tea which is light, yet maintaining a distinctive taste profile. The scenic beauty of the estate is reflected in the sophisticated, and delightfully gentle Rilagala Estate OP1.
I cannot guarantee that it is an easy tea to find and buy, but Monkey Rock – together with the rest of the Ultimate Estate and Seasonal Flush Teas in the t-Series range, so perfectly embody that very special aspect of terroir in tea, that it must be mentioned here.